Italy had the highest search volumes for UK retail, according to new data.
The BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor found that Italy demonstrated the strongest year-on-year growth in searches for UK brands from the EU, reporting a 30 per cent rise.
Overseas searches for UK brands also saw a significant increase, growing 19 per cent year on year in Q4.
Total UK retail search volumes increased by three per cent across all devices, but was predominantly driven by mobile, in the fourth quarter 2017, compared with Q4 last year.
The North and Yorkshire saw the highest share of UK retail searches at 26 per cent, with Greater London coming in second with 23 per cent.
Said British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson: “The final quarter of 2017 saw modest growth in the volume of online search activity for retail products, which was driven predominantly by mobile searches once again. It was the weakest quarter for growth last year, but that reflects the fact that shoppers are increasingly accessing retailers’ websites via social networks and e-mail marketing, rather than using search engines. Indeed, over Black Friday, a number of retailers noted that their e-mail campaigns were particularly successful in attracting shoppers to their websites. This only serves to illustrate the importance for retailers of making the most of all their channels for communicating with shoppers.
“Nevertheless, festivities over the autumn and winter months spurred a flurry of Google activity as consumers hunted for the perfect outfit to celebrate the occasion. Interestingly, as retailers have spread out their Black Friday promotions, the popular shopping week overtook Boxing Day last year on Google search volumes, as consumers took more time to research deals.
“Browsing for an online bargain will likely become common practice for the increasingly discerning shopper as the squeeze on disposable income persists.”
Martijn Bertisen, retail director at Google, commented: “Mobile continues to be the largest growth driver across the retail business, with strongest growth in fashion, beauty and home. The Black Friday period is getting longer and, instead of staying up late to research the best deals, consumers are using their phones more than ever to research deals during morning commute times on Black Friday and at store opening times on Boxing Day.”